Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Annapolis and Navigability

                                 ANNAPOLIS AND NAVIGABILITY                    
File:Dock Street Annapolis.JPG
 In the image above you are looking down what was once the central dock area of Annapolis when it was a commercial ocean cargo port back in colonial times. The area is officially known as "City Docks" but is widely referred to as "EGO ALLEY". Commercial cargo operations disappeared before the 19th Century was over. The inner harbor of Annapolis is just much too small to accommodate modern commercial cargo ships. For a while the harbor became a center for commercial fishing vessels. Yachts and recreational vessels were present among the commercial fishermen from the very beginning. Eventually the yachts became dominant and the price of boat slips,boat yard services, and other boat services became too" pricy" for the commercial fishermen. The commercial fishermen are gone now. The price of real estate around the harbor went through the roof and eventually every vestige of the gritty side of the waterfront disappeared.  Today Annapolis competes with Newport, Rhode Island for the number one spot in yachting on the East Coast. Yachting is a big economic boost to Annapolis.

The City Dock area's central canal and turning basin has become known as "Ego Alley" in recent decades because of the numbers of large yachts that travel down the canal where they can have no real destination, turn and go back out past flocks of tourists and a couple of local clubs and eateries where the yachts are veiwed with appreciation. In short some of the vessel traffic of the canal is simply see and be seen , look at me I have a big yacht . The friendly Annapolitans simply view these goings and comings with amusement. Many Annapolitians are employed in the yacht repair yards, sailing schools, boat dealerships etc. that vie with state government as a major employer in Annapolis which is the capital of Maryland and was once briefly the Capital of the United States. Yachting has made for a vibrant nautically themed down town historic quarter.Yet if you look about one can quickly see some unintended consequences of letting the harbor areas evolve into a sort of "one trick pony". With a little more forethought and deliberate planning the harbor areas of Annapolis might have been Yacht dominated, but the surviving commercial maritime elements would have added immeasurably to the economy and the maritime ambiance that draws so many tourists.In future blog postings we will look at the missed opportunities, and explore a maritime Annapolis that might have been and possibly could one day be.

Daiwa D-Shock 170 Yards 8 Line 6 1/2-Feet Fibreglass Spin Combo (Medium)


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